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How to Plan a Low Cost Wedding - Part 1

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by Kelly Nicole O'Donnell (subscribe)
I enjoy running, getting outdoors and baking sweet treats. Subscribe to my articles to see what running events and other family activities I cover. You can also contact me via the following Twitter @knicoleodonnell
Published February 26th 2015
How to plan a wedding in a short time frame
If, like me, you have only a little time to plan a wedding here are some tips to get you started. Some people spend over 12 months to plan the event, others decide a certain time is special and can't wait to make this commitment.

To plan a wedding in a few months, without eloping of course, all depends on the size of your guest list and your ability to not get too hung up on the details. Whilst we all want the perfect wedding, it doesn't have to come at a large cost and it can still be done beautifully in a few months. Smaller and more intimate means you get more time with your guests.

1. Keep the Guest List Small You hear of others planning receptions that they are sampling menus at different wedding venues, and that their place of choice is booked out 18 months in advance and you start to fret.

Sapore weddings
Image from

If your guest list is small, then it is quite easy to find a nice little restaurant where you can book a private room for your reception. Lots of restaurants have rooms catering for 10-30 people where you have a variety of menu choices available or who will put a custom package together for you.

I can highly recommend Sapore which offers two private dining rooms. They have a variety of function menus and drinks and finger packages to choose from, excellent service and beautiful food all in a stylish setting a walk from the beach.


2. Buy your Dress From An Evening Gown Store.

Off the rack wedding dress
Image Dansk Photography

Rather than splash out thousands of dollars on a dress you will most probably only wear once, you can save a lot by buying something non-traditional and which you can wear again.

Go shopping at stores which stock evening gowns and get something a little bit different. Head to the larger shopping centres like Chadstone or Doncaster and see how you go.

There are many dresses around that are under $1000 or even less, even by the time you have the dress altered. The positive is that you can walk in, try on your dress and walk out with it the same day. The store should be able to provide you their recommended alteration specialists who you can get to make any adjustments to the gown like hemming or taking it in slightly.

For flower girl or bridesmaids dresses try the same. Head to Myer or David Jones as they have some great party dresses for little girls. I managed to pick up a flower girl dress for $40 on sale. The bargains are out there, you just need to keep an open mind and an open eye.

3. The Cars. Try a VHA limousine service for your travel to the ceremony. By choosing a location for your ceremony that is walking distance to your reception means that you only need travel to one location and you won't spend hundreds on bridal cars. Southern Cross Chauffer Drive offers the option to have a car by the hour for weddings. They were reliable, arrived early and got me to my ceremony on time. Prices start at $142.50 for 1 hour in the metro Melbourne region.

4. Have a Winter Wedding. Weddings in winter can be a little less costly due to this being the low season to get married. Venues often offer prices at a discount to the summer wedding season, and dates are easier to secure for many professionals (venue, photographer, cars, flowers). Whilst this doesn't mean you have to have a July wedding, a May, late August or early September wedding can enable you to reduce costs and make considerable savings particularly for your reception.


5. Go in Season Flowers and Keep them Small.

Bridesmaid bouquet
Bridesmaid bouquet, author image
Keep it small is the motto. Fresh flowers that are in season and a small floral arrangement will be less costly.

You don't need to spend a lot of money on flowers, so set a budget and stick to it. Shop around in your local area for a florist. I managed to get one button hole and three bouquets all delivered for under $200. You will also save on delivery costs if you select a florist closer to home.

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Your Comment
The winter wedding is a good tip.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2197 days ago
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